Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To lie in wait, as in ambush.
  • intransitive v. To move furtively; sneak.
  • intransitive v. To exist unobserved or unsuspected: danger lurking around every bend.
  • intransitive v. To read but not contribute to the discussion in a newsgroup, chatroom, or other online forum.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To remain concealed in order to ambush
  • v. To remain unobserved
  • v. to hang out or wait around a location, preferably without drawing attention to oneself
  • v. to view an internet forum without posting comments
  • n. The act of lurking.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To lie hidden; to lie in wait.
  • intransitive v. To keep out of sight.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To lie in concealment; hide or keep out of sight, as for ambush or escape; skulk.
  • To be latent or undisclosed; be withdrawn from open manifestation; exist unperceived or unsuspected.
  • n. A trick of imposture; a swindling artifice; a cunning dodge.
  • n. The act of lurking or prowling.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. wait in hiding to attack
  • v. be about
  • v. lie in wait, lie in ambush, behave in a sneaky and secretive manner

Etymologies

Middle English lurken, possibly of Scandinavian origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Oh, what horrible perils lie in lurk in the languid fields of Erin Township!

    Archive 2007-06-01

  • I have been reading past LJ posts (in lurk-mode because really, who wants comments on entries that are months old?) in a vain attempt to catch up on everything, but I've also been reading my friends list -- and tnh, at making light, has posted a comment about misinformation and the publishing industry.

    Bestsellers?

  • One of the current topics on the Child-Lit listserv, where I usually lurk, is a discussion "Harry Potter -- Hype or Word Of Mouth," which got me thinking about when I first read HP and its impact on me, personally and professionally.

    How I Found Out About Harry

  • There the hot shaft should blast whatever therein lurk'd.

    Excerpts from _Childe Harold's Pilgrimage_

  • Euan gives voice to another reason why people "lurk" - or maybe why they never jump into the community in the first place.

    Knowledge Jolt with Jack

  • Oh, and for those who wanted my full Angel gripes, here they are: hidden behind this seemingly impenetrable cut-tag lurk radioactive spoilers

    Random Friday

  • The so-called 1:9:90 principle in Internet culture says that significantly more users "lurk" in a virtual community than actively participate.

    David All: Harnessing Brand Activism

  • I'm not sure if I've ever commented before, but I "lurk" often, and I have a question:

    Celebrating 300 by Opening the Floor

  • Many physicians "lurk," which is cyberese for reading a discussion but not participating in it.

    The Doctor Is On

  • I enjoy this forum & have never tried to hide but I do "lurk" quite a bit.

    Page 2

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Comments

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  • *lurks*

    July 2, 2008

  • Awww...John thinks we're wingnuts. There's no higher compliment. :-D

    Thanks for that screen shot, ptero. I'd forgotten the way it looked when I signed on. Amazing to see how it's changed in such a short time!

    July 1, 2008

  • Yay! My rude jabbing and stabbing has prodded a response from Sassmews. Mission accomplished! Hopefully s/he will now realize we're mostly harmless, if sometimes rude and too boisterous, and join in the fun.

    Seriously Sass, my apologies if I poked too hard. I just tend to assume that the prolific word-listers and the prolific commenters are the same. I was pleasantly surprised to see otherwise, and wanted to draw you into the fold.

    Above all, please don't be scared off, and do what you want with Wordie. It's like that. (And it likes that, too.)

    July 1, 2008

  • "Now let's go and visit plethora" was my 1500th comment.

    July 1, 2008

  • It was me :-) now, let's start vivisecting your list.

    July 1, 2008

  • Hey!! I see that somebody has taken a jab at me for sitting quietly. I just found the site this past weekend, so it should be permissible for me to lurk for a little while. Besides, nobody has made any comments on my words. Although someone did correct my misspelling of "absit invidia" - thanks. I was sort of hoping someone would make some suggestions for my word lists. Anyway, hello!

    July 1, 2008

  • λάθε βιώσας, "live hiddenly".

    July 1, 2008

  • Wordie launched on Friday, November 24, 2006, the day after Thanksgiving. I always think it was around longer too, but before that my list was just a lonely text file.

    I think people should use Wordie for whatever they feel like at any given time. I slip back into lurker status every once in a while when other things demand my attention. Though it's hard to stay away from you wingnuts :-)

    July 1, 2008

  • I also lurked for a long time before I started commenting. And now sometimes I revert to lurker status because I can't be bothered thinking of anything to say.

    July 1, 2008

  • Now let's go and visit plethora.

    July 1, 2008

  • Interesting that the two s-words were slugging it out even then.

    July 1, 2008

  • Yikes! That's....rustic! I like it soooo much better this way!

    July 1, 2008

  • Well, it's a pleasure to be proven wrong in this case -- it shows that I have difficulty imagining life without Wordie. :-)

    Anyone else remember when Wordie looked like this?

    July 1, 2008

  • Thanks, Pro. I did remember that it was sometime around Thanksgiving when it launched, and I remember we celebrated Wordie's first birthday....

    Ptero, once you're out of college, your memory evaporates. It's a fact. ;-)

    July 1, 2008

  • November 23-24, 2006.

    July 1, 2008

  • I agree with reesetee. Wordie is what you make of it, whatever that may happen to be.

    But I do believe that Wordie is at least two years old. I remember using it when I was still working on my B.A., and I graduated from that college in May 2006.

    (My memory is notoriously unreliable, though. I could easily be confused about this.)

    July 1, 2008

  • Ptero, I don't think Wordie has reached its second birthday yet. Has it, John?

    Anyway, I've always believed that one of the best aspects of Wordie is that you can make what you want of it. If you'd rather just list words, that's okay (unless, of course, we snag your list and give it the Wordie treatment). If you'd rather blather with some of us, that's nice too. :-)

    June 30, 2008

  • Ptero's right. It's hard for noobs to follow the comments and it does take a while to graft the Wordie ethic to your persona.

    June 30, 2008

  • I spent two years on this site, and listed several hundred words, before I ever paid any attention to the comments. Did this behavior make me an unwordie user? I don't think so. I wasn't looking to chat, back then -- I just needed a place to keep my words.

    But I do wish I'd paid attention to the comments right from the start. I missed so many lovely conversations!

    (Oh well. There's always Wordieternity.)

    June 30, 2008

  • That's very unwordie and I think we should consider that it might be an act of treason. Lurkers!

    June 29, 2008

  • We usually start stalking them after their second/third comment.

    June 29, 2008

  • Has anyone else noticed that there are some people on Wordie who just, you know, list words? Instead of plastering the site with inane comments.

    Three of the wordiest Wordies at the moment seem to have said nary a peep (or just one peep among them, really): myriasofo, mouserie and Sassmews.

    Weird. Neat words though.

    June 29, 2008